I am glad to hear that you are making progress Annie.
The heating step (coating on a warm surface) is not always necessary. I live in Winnipeg, Canada and do much of my printing in the winter. It can be very cold
(-30) and especially dry (30%). The room in which I print can be quite cool at times and almost always very dry. The heating pad I use to warm up the glass surface upon which I put the paper is necessary for me to get a good even coating. In the summer I find I can do without it.
In Vancouver, you may bemoan the lack of sunshine but the high humidity and warmer temperatures make for ideal coating weather. I would sugget you keep doing what you are doing, work without a heating pad.
Are you using tween?